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PC Won't Boot

Danny_E_Lusk asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Dell 8200, XP Home, 3 years old, suddenly won't boot. All devices disconnected, no change. RAM reseated. All cables reseated. Different monitor, KB, mouse. Norton Emergency CD runs, tells me that if a drive is connected, it is unrecognizable. I've had the best success in other situations like this to connect the faulty drive as a slave on a good test system and the drive is recognized and most times Windows repairs the problem. Not this time. Setup recognizes a drive of some sort but when Windows boots on the test system, the faulty drive is assigned no drive letter.

I know of data recovery services and have used them but I was hoping someone might be able to give me some other avenue.
Watch Question

Does the HD make any funny clicking noises?


All I hear is the standard unparking of the heads. There is no repetitive banging against the stop as I hear so many times.
If you go into the BIOS setup, do you see the drive there?


When I went into Setup, I set the drive type for Hard Drive 1 as AUTO and the test computer recognized the hard drive with the same capacity as Hard Drive 0. When the faulty drive is installed in the original machine, BIOS gives a drive type of UNKNOWN.
Is that drive the same capacity as the other one in your test system?
Top Expert 2012

If the BIOS doesn't correctly identify your drive, software has no hope of recovering the data.  If this is the case, it's time for data recovery services, and I hear www.gillware.com is reasonable.


The hard drive in the original computer is recognized with the correct drive type.
Top Expert 2012
Then I would recommend GetDataBack from www.runtime.org - it is the best recovery software that I know of, and it costs nothing to see if it can read the files - if it can find them, it costs $79 to save.

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